News : 2019/03

A Gift to Svalbard

Published 2019/03/18

Image courtesy of Oswaldo Maciá

A Gift to Svalbard​ is an exhibition by the artist Oswaldo Maciá spanning a single day in Vinkelstasjonen (a former coal mine station on Svalbard), an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Presenting work made during Maciá’s 2018 Artica Residency, ​A Gift To Svalbard​ is a one-day installation made of sound, smell, light and monoprints.

Oswaldo Maciá: ​A Gift To Svalbard 22 March 2019
Meet 8pm in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

A Gift to Svalbard​ is an exhibition by the artist Oswaldo Maciá spanning a single day in Vinkelstasjonen (a former coal mine station on Svalbard), an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Presenting work made during Maciá’s 2018 Artica Residency, ​A Gift To Svalbard​ is a one-day installation made of sound, smell, light and monoprints.

Maciá describes: “During my time in Svalbard, I continued my project to record migratory winds in different deserts around the world. Together these form the iterative acousmatic composition ​Fables of the wind​. Svalbard is a key location: it is a centre for research, a place for direct observation of the tragedy of climate change, and an Arctic desert where the subsoil is permanently frozen. ​Fables of the wind​ places us in the allegorical space of the wind, an endless cycle of departure and return. The chapter A Gift To Svalbard​ is an olfactory acoustic sculpture bringing together the smell of roses with the sounds of migration. The aural composition is formed from three movements: the sounds of migratory winds and the calls of crosspollinating insects, the rumble of industrial machinery, and the reverberation of border fences. A rich, beautiful smell will be experienced on entering Vinkelstasjonen, developed in collaboration with the master perfumer Ricardo Moya of IFF, Amsterdam. The olfactory element has been made from roses sourced from plantations in countries that are part of the 1920 Svalbard Treaty. Alongside these sounds and smells are monoprints made in the print studio at Artica, showing insects and flora from Svalbard.”

Made in response to the histories and futures of Svalbard, Maciá’s immersive installation fills Vinkelstasjonen with evocative scents and sounds. The title refers to the idea of the gift: an act of generosity, sometimes expecting nothing in return, but often times suggesting future favours. Maciá is interested in the gift without favour, describing the Arctic “as a great case study for other parts of the planet: if we give instead of continuing to take perhaps we can have the Arctic for longer, and perhaps other parts of the world might follow the example.”

During his Artica Residency, Maciá recorded the winds of the tundra of Svalbard, currents of air that impact global cross-pollination. In the print studio at Artica he developed a series of vibrant monoprints that are studies of the flora of Svalbard and the few local pollinators – in the extreme cold it is flies that do the work of fertilizing flowers. These prints have been scaled up on the occasion on the installation, spreading outside the mine into the surrounding landscape.

Katya García-Antón, Director and Chief Curator of OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway says: “Maciá’s field-based artistic research across tropical rainforests and extreme deserts leads to symphonic compositions as well as olfactory-acoustic sculptures and installations that excavate the counter-narratives of human and geopolitical relevance embedded in our understanding of the past, present and future.”

Information

Eli Skatvedt: Director, Artica Svalbard ​eli@articasvalbard.no
Didrik Paulsen: Coordinator, Artica Svalbard ​didrik@articasvalbard.no

Eirin Torgersen: Communication Officer, eirin.torgersen@oca.no

Artist talk

Oswaldo Maciá will be in conversation with Katya Garcia-Antón, Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway, directly after the viewing of the installation.

Practicalities

On Friday the 22 March, we will leave Longyearbyen for Vinkelstasjonen, Adventdalen to experience A​ Gift To Svalbard​. Meet up at Coop at 8 pm for a guided bus trip. The visit to the installation will take 45 minutes, and the bus will return to Artica for the artist conversation. Soup and drinks will be served. For those who do not wish to attend Artica, the bus will return to Coop.

Artist biography

Oswaldo Maciá creates olfactory-acoustic sculptures. Led by research across diverse environments, landscapes, and social contexts, he creates immersive installations that challenge the assumptions of perception. In 2018 he was nominated for a residency at Artica, Svalbard, nominated by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway. Maciá’s works have been exhibited all over the world, including at R​ iga Biennial​, Latvia​ (​ 2018), Tate Britain, London (2016), ​Manifesta 9​, Belgium (2012), ​Biennal de Cuenca​, Ecuador (2011) and T​ hessaloniki Biennale​, Greece (2009). In 2018 Maciá won the Golden Pear at the fifth annual Art and Olfaction Awards in London for his experimental work with scent, and his work is held in international collections, such as Tate Britain and Daros Latinamerica. He hails from the Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and currently lives and works in the UK and the USA.

Artica Svalbard

Artica Svalbard was founded in 2016 by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Fritt Ord (the Freedom of Expression Foundation) and the Cultural Business Development Foundation of the bank SpareBank1 Nord-Norge. Artica’s Key Partners are Norsk PEN, OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway), and the Queen Sonja Print Award. The purpose of the foundation is to facilitate artistic and cultural activities on Svalbard, and to support the development of Norwegian art and culture by enabling artists in all genres to create and present their art. The foundation aims to bolster the cultural and creative industries on Svalbard. The foundation has an Arctic and international focus and will organise public events to raise awareness of and discuss Arctic Norway’s relevance to fields such as culture, geopolitics, climate change, migration and minorities.

Meet Wanda Nanibush

Published 2019/03/07

Please join us for a talk with OCA IVP Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous art and co-head of the Indigenous & Canadian Art department at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This event is part of OCA's mezzanine program.

Wednesday, 13 March
17:00–18:30

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to info@oca.no.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

Sovereign Acts: New Histories of Indigenous Performance

In her talk, Nanibush will explore contemporary Indigenous performance as an active re/assertion of sovereignty.

“From cultural dances to performance art, Indigenous artists are breaking the Eurocentric boundaries between art/culture, tradition/contemporary, humour/ethics, fiction/history, and resistance/creation. In the process, new histories of performance are sought and performance becomes again the site of sovereignty enacted. Artists such as Rebecca Belmore, James Luna, Lori Blondeau, Adrian Stimson, and Shelley Niro, among many others, are our guides.” – Wanda Nanibush

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, and community organizer. She is the Curator of Indigenous art and co-head of the Indigenous & Canadian Art department at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Currently her exhibition Rebecca Belmore, Facing the Monumental is touring nationally and internationally. She has a master’s in visual studies from the University of Toronto and has taught graduate courses on Indigenous history and politics at the University of Toronto and OCADU. Nanibush is currently writing a book called Violence No More: The Rise of Indigenous Women and finishing a film on Indigenous resistance.

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Meet Brook Andrew

Published 2019/03/07

Please join us for a talk with OCA IVP Brook Andrew, artist and Artistic Director of the Sydney Biennale 2020.

This event is part of OCA's mezzanine program.

Monday, 18 March
16:00–17:30

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to info@oca.no.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

Brook Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who examines dominant narratives, often relating to colonialism and the restitution of cultural objects to their original communities. Through museum and archival research and interventions, he aims to offer alternate versions of forgotten histories; illustrating different means for interpreting history in the world today. Apart from drawing inspiration from vernacular objects and the archive he travels internationally to work with communities and various private and public collections to tease out new interpretations.

Most recently Brook presented Ahy-kon-uh-klas-tik,an interrogation of the Van Abbemuseum archives in Holland, which re-imagines a different world timeline alongside his own archive curated by Nick Aikens. In 2017 he also created an intervention into the collection of the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, Switzerland; and The Right to Offend is Sacredopened at the National Gallery of Victoria, a 25-year reflection on his practice. Across October and November 2017, Brook will complete a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, with the Smithsonian Institute, USA; and in 2018 present What’s Left Behind, a new commission for SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagementat the 21st Biennale of Sydney.

His recent research includes an ambitious international comparative three-year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant titled Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial. The project is designed to respond to the repeated high-level calls for a national memorial to Aboriginal loss and the frontier wars: www.rr.memorial.

Brook is currently the Artistic Director for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney opening March 2020, which is the 250 year anniversary that Captain James Cook claimed to have discovered Australia for the British monarch.

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Meet Oswaldo Macía

Published 2019/03/07

Please join us for a talk with OCA IVP artist Oswaldo Macía.

This event is part of OCA's mezzanine program.

Monday, 25 March
17:00–18:30

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to info@oca.no.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

Oswaldo Maciá is an artist working across media, hailing from the Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. During the 1990s, after completing an MFA at Goldsmiths College, University of London, his work was shown in solo exhibitions at key venues such as the Museum of Installation and Clove gallery as well as in group shows such as the seminal Ideal Standard Summertime at Lisson Gallery (1996). Since then he has gone on to create olfactory-acoustic sculptures, performances, installations, and collaborations sourced from research across diverse environments, landscapes, and social contexts. His works have been exhibited all over the world, including at the Riga Biennial (2018), Tate Britain (2016), Manifesta 9 (2012), Biennal de Cuenca, Ecuador (2011), Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2009) and many others. In 2018 Maciá won the Golden Pear at the fifth annual Art and Olfaction Awards in London for his experimental work with scent, and his work is held in international collections such as Tate Britain and Daros Latinamerica. He lives and works in the UK and the USA.

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